8 Songs, 1 Hour 16 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like their two previous albums, De-Loused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute, Amputechture is a dense and mysterious “concept” album that’s often impenetrable but always intriguing. Exactly what the album is about is anyone’s guess (there are multiple references to God, yet that hardly clears it up), but it’s stunning to listen to how many different themes and ideas are packed into this 76-minute epic. Seemingly anything goes—long ambient passages shift abruptly into screaming metal guitar solos and free jazz horns before fading into gorgeous, subdued melodies or soft Latin rhythms. The countless tempo changes and radical dynamic shifts keep the listener on edge, and the intensity is sustained by the counterpoint of Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s high register vocals and impressionistic lyrics, some of which are sung in Spanish. Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriquez-Lopez’s musicianship is as impressive as their imagination, and they’re joined by technically gifted guests, including guitarist John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who possess the chops necessary to execute these challenging compositions. Amputechture is a sprawling thrill ride that’s both unnerving and exhilarating.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Like their two previous albums, De-Loused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute, Amputechture is a dense and mysterious “concept” album that’s often impenetrable but always intriguing. Exactly what the album is about is anyone’s guess (there are multiple references to God, yet that hardly clears it up), but it’s stunning to listen to how many different themes and ideas are packed into this 76-minute epic. Seemingly anything goes—long ambient passages shift abruptly into screaming metal guitar solos and free jazz horns before fading into gorgeous, subdued melodies or soft Latin rhythms. The countless tempo changes and radical dynamic shifts keep the listener on edge, and the intensity is sustained by the counterpoint of Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s high register vocals and impressionistic lyrics, some of which are sung in Spanish. Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriquez-Lopez’s musicianship is as impressive as their imagination, and they’re joined by technically gifted guests, including guitarist John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who possess the chops necessary to execute these challenging compositions. Amputechture is a sprawling thrill ride that’s both unnerving and exhilarating.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
323 Ratings
323 Ratings
DrewDakesian ,

They're Not Trying To Be Prolific

Everyone thinks that The Mars Volta HAS to top previous work. As good as Amputechture is (I've had it for some months now, and I've listened to it a great deal), it's not up to par with Frances The Mute. Amputechture showcases what The Mars Volta does best: improvise and jam out. That's what blows me away.
I was surprised on this album, because while Omar is on point 100% of the time, proving that he has little fingers on his fingers, the star of Amputechture is Cedric. His lyrics cry out and demand your undivided attention. There were alot of effects used on his voice, and they all work to perfection.
The track I enjoyed most on this album would have to be track 2, "Tetragrammaton". It bends and weaves like a snake through a wicker basket, and just as the snake makes it's way out, it's shot with a shotgun.

aw-dee-oh-fy-l ,

i rounded up to four since there are no half-stars...

to call this album "self indulgent" is missing the point... it's music, it should be that way... artists make music only to please themselves. period.

secondly, as far as "pretentious and falsely praised":
- someone using the word "'nuff" has no fingers to point when talking about pretentiousness... and...
- some people will like it, and some people won't get it...

The truth is "Amputechture" is impressive and expansive... While the first two albums were individually about two people and their experiences with loss and death, this seems to be a series of vignettes, every one as cohesive and crazy as the next... it takes some time to grow on you, but it only gets better...

omar and cedric, seem to like what they do... the band can be monstrous ("inertiatic esp"), but there's also a level of painful restraint ("the widow"), and as long as they continue to enjoy what they make, jaws will still drop at shows and listeners will always be polarized... radio/mtv have desensitized people to music that challenges... some people get it, some don't...

i hope they get as self indulgent as they want ...

remarkable ,

Amazing.

Tetragrammaton is an amazing work of art. That song alone is worth the download. Frances the Mute was my favorite cd of last year. I found out about them by seeing that they were part of the Handsome Boy Modeling school's last cd of all things. Kind of a shame that I had to "discover" this band myself. Got Frances and was amazed at the sound. They do not follow any kind of pattern or mold and I applaud them for it. I went back and got Deloused and it totally blew me away as well. Inertiatic ESP is my favorite song by them...but it was a tough choice. This band is doing some amazing things and this cd is no different. GET IT.

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